CNN.com has announced that it is premiering two new web-exclusive video series through content partnerships with Vice’s VBS.TV, overseen by creative director and renowned film director Spike Jonze, and Sub Pop Records, it was announced today by KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN.com. Both series – “VBS.TV on CNN.com” and “Indie Asia: On Tour with Handsome Furs” – will be available globally on CNN.com, as well as via the CNN App. for the iPhone and iPod Touch in the US.
These new series help fulfill the site’s promise of adding more diverse voices and a range of perspectives to complement CNN’s in-depth global news reporting.
“When we unveiled the new CNN.com, we wanted to showcase CNN’s in-depth reporting, as well as introduce a new range of voices to our users through strategic partnerships,” said Estenson. “Indie Asia will provide users with a unique cultural travel log of Asia, while the original storytelling from VBS.TV promises to bring the CNN.com audience smart, alternative documentary-style videos.”
Every Wednesday beginning on the 20th January, CNN.com will showcase select original content from VBS.TV, known for capturing exclusive feature stories and in-depth interviews through a unique lens and story-telling style. The first episode, “Vice Guide to Liberia,” documents Vice Founder Shane Smith as he travels through the war-torn country, interviewing ex-war lords and residents who are struggling to move past a decade of violence.
“Most people who hear about this partnership will think, ‘Vice and CNN, hmmm… That’s an odd pair of bedfellows for you.’ And you’d be right. The ‘Hipsters’ Bible’ hooking up with the World’s News Leader is a bit odd,” said Smith. “But as our company began to evolve and cover stories around the globe, CNN was our first and only choice for a partner. In a world of hyper-partisan opinion-led ‘news,’ CNN’s credibility and reach put it in a class by itself. We couldn’t be more excited with a partner unless it was Jimi Hendrix (nod to all the Baby Boomers out there) joining our rock and roll band.”
Vice launched VBS.TV in 2007 and is overseen by Jonze, founders Smith and Suroosh Alvi, and executive producer Eddy Moretti.
Sub Pop’s indie rock band, the Handsome Furs – made up of the duo husband and wife team of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry Cox – documented their travels during their first tour across Asia with two Flip cams for a new series entitled “Indie Asia: On Tour with Handsome Furs.” These self-described travel nerds share the fun, excitement and drama of visiting new places, meeting new people and tasting new foods in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand with the CNN.com audience.
“As a compact, nimble and experience-hungry two-piece, there are few touring bands more adventurous than Handsome Furs. It’s a real honor to be associated with such an amazing rock band, one so bent on bringing their wholly unique music to such far-flung parts of the world,” said Jonathan Poneman, Sub Pop founder and CEO. “Likewise, it’s an amazing opportunity for them and Sub Pop to be able to share Handsome Furs’ experiences with the millions of people CNN.com reaches every day around the world. In the end, that sort of connection – on record, at shows and now on CNN.com – is the whole point.”
The Asian tour featured in the series is in support of the band’s second record, Face Control, which got an 8 out of 10 from indie tastemakers, Pitchfork.com and other critical acclaim. Boeckner is also a member of indie rock break out band Wolf Parade.